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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  September 22, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm PST

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>> all right. a lot of happy people at ike's at this point. >> that is going to do it for us. than tonight on "world news," terror warning. top government security officials tell why they're concerned about another terrorist attack. hot seat. angry victims confront the giant egg producer about the salmonella in his eggs. about face. an original promoter of lasik eye surgery now says he was wrong and lasik surgery should stop. sex trade. 12 and 13-year-old girls recruited at the mall. a "world news" investigation. and, bible wonder. the red sea simply parts for moses. 21st century science has a new idea of what really might have happened. good evening.
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since 9/11, all of us in america have lived with the prospect of another terrorist attack. and today, top counterterrorism officials appear before congress with a warning. they said the danger is as grave as it has been since september 11th, nine years ago, and they said al qaeda has new ways of recruiting people inside this country. pierre thomas followed all the testimony today and joins us now. pierre? >> reporter: diane, we watched what these intelligence officials had to say very closely. and i can tell you, their tone today was especially stark. >> the past year has noted the most significant developments in terrorism since 9/11. >> reporter: in the last 18 months or so, at least 63 americans have been arrested or convicted of terrorism charges. >> that's an astoundingly high number. >> we have seen a dramatic spike. do you believe this is an aberration or is this likely to continue? >> caution would dictate that we assume it is not an aberration.
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>> reporter: the warning was blunt. the threat from within from americans willing to commit acts of terror here at home is growing. >> since 2006, al qaeda has looked to recruit americans or westerners who are able to remain undetected by heightened security measures. >> reporter: after eight years of relative quiet after 9/11, al qaeda affiliates launched three serious attempted attacks in only seven months. last september's failed new york city subway plot. the christmas day scare three months later. and the times square bombing attempt this past may. authorities say these plots may not have the scale of 9/11, but still had international impact. >> launching a larger attack, perhaps more devastating attack does not worth the additional effort when you can get a substantial coverage and impact with smaller attacks. >> reporter: diane, the bottom line of all of this is that officials say another attempted attack is likely coming. >> but let me understand something, pierre.
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because you have followed these officials. you know these officials. when you look at their faces today, was there something appreciably different, and why today? >> reporter: diane, i think so. the spike in these arrests, and all these recent attacks basically has them wanting to put the american public on notice that they should be watchful and individual vigilent. >> especially here at home of americans? >> reporter: absolutely. these 63 people that have been arrested and charged are americans, and, they are very, very difficult to track, in part because many of them are being recruited on the internet. >> all right, thanks so much, pierre thomas. and, of course, terrorism and the president are big topics in a new book causing a stir today. "obama's wars," by bob woodward, who spent almost two years talking to nearly 100 people behind closed doors. so, what happened inside the white house when we weren't there? abc's jake tapper is here tonight. jake? >> reporter: diane, the book describes tensions between the white house and the pentagon, and among all the president's men, as president obama
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struggled to look for a way out of afghanistan and to protect the country from an ever more terrifying terrorist threat. bob woodward's new book, "obama's wars," shows the white house consumed by warnings of terrorist threats on u.s. soil and forced to imagine the worst happening. the president told woodward, according to published reports, we can absorb a terrorist attack. even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever, we absorbed it, and we are stronger. just days after his inauguration, the president is forced to confront stark realities about the terrorist threat and the war in afghanistan. in the book, an expert on islamic extremism tells the president that the long held belief that osama bin laden was just a figure head is not true. >> bin laden is more than still out there. he's not hiding in a cave somewhere. he's actually directing global terrorist operations. >> reporter: woodward also reports, a fact since confirmed by abc news, that there's a
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secret cia army made up of 3,000 afghan soldiers to go after militants in both afghanistan and pac stan. and, he describes in-fighting among the obama team. general david petraeus called senior adviser david axelrod a complete spin doctor. insults that come out as the president and his aides form a new policy for afghanistan and pakistan. >> i think that the review that we've gone through has been comprehensive and extremely useful. >> reporter: behind the scenes, the president butted heads with military leaders whose only proposals were for more troops and much longer deployments. this needs to be a plan about how we're going to hand it off and get out of afghanistan, mr. obama says. ultimately the frustrated president, in an unprecedented move, dictates a detailed six-page term sheet on his final strategy, instructing the military to send in 30,000 more troops, 10,000 fewer than the pentagon wanted, and setting july 2011 as a day for when troops would begin to withdraw. i can't let this be a war without end, the book has the
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president explaining to republican senator lindsey graham, and i can't lose the whole democratic party. >> reporter: the white house insists people should read the whole book, saying, quote, the president comes across in the review and throughout the decision-making process as a commander in chief who is analyt analytic, strategic and decisive. diane? >> and we have read the whole thing, and we will have an exclusive interview with bob woodward, his first, talking about the new book, and you can see it, right here, on monday. and, moving on now, to salmonella. we finally saw him face to face today. the owner of an iowa egg farm, linked to the salmonella outbreak. a half a billion eggs were recalled, and a lot of people got sick, as you know. and they traveled to confront him today in washington. david kerley was there. >> reporter: 1,600 people were made sick, sir. the man largely responsible for the biggest egg recall ever wasn't talking to us. even though jack decoster told a congressional hearing he's
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horrified a half billion eggs were recalled aft eed and 1,600 sickened. >> we apologize to everyone who may have been sickened by eating our eggs. >> reporter: decoster is no stranger to violations. decades of run-ins with regulators, millions in fines, and back in 1987, a salmonella outbreak that killed nine people. but decoster says his wright county egg has cleaned up its act. >> if you've cleaned up your operations as you say, why did this outbreak occur? >> mr. chairman, this is a complicated subject. >> reporter: this is what inspectors found after the recall was ordered. dead chickens in a pile on the floor, so much manure it pressed out a barn door, flies, maggots, rodents running through the henhouses. >> where you are now is, you feel, cleaned up and adequate? >> sir, please let me talk, okay. >> reporter: salmonella was found, too, but the decosters believe the bacteria was
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introduced by an outside feed product. >> for you to say we had nothing to do with it, it's hard for me to believe. >> reporter: victims had a hard time believing decoster, too. >> it just overpowered my whole system. >> reporter: 30-year-old sarah lewis, who nearly died, met with decoster after the hearing. >> i said, i'm a real person, and this is what you've done to me. >> reporter: when we asked -- mr. decoster, will you take responsibility? all we got was silence. david kerley, abc news, washington. and, there is new hope tonight for gay people in florida, who want to adopt a child. a state appeals court ruled that the 33-year-old ban on gay adoption is unconstitutional. and the governor said that the state will allow the adoptions immediately. and, trouble is mounting tonight for the pastor of a 25,000-member megachurch near atlanta. bishop eddie long, who has a lavish lifestyle and has denounced homosexuality, is accused of coercing three young men into relationships. steve osunsami has details of the lawsuits.
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>> reporter: bishop eddie long is considered one of the most anti-gay pastors in the country, who once said that homosexuality is a spir chill abortion. if today's accusations are true, he might regret the day he led thousands through the streets of atlanta in protest of gays and same-sex marriage. >> woman and woman and man and man is not right. so, that's why i stand by the bishop. >> reporter: in the lawsuits, filed by three young men he recruited into the youth ministry at his gigantic church outside atlanta, they describe him as a sexual predator who pushed them into sex, lavished them with expensive gifts, and sent them these photos, texts and e-mails when they were above the legal age of consent, but just 16 and 17 years old. they say he certainly doesn't look like a bishop here. >> what pastor in his right mind sends a picture of himself posing in a bathroom in a muscle shirt? none. none that i know of. >> reporter: at the funeral of coretta scott king, which took place at his church in 2008,
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some civil rights leaders refused to attend because long is so anti-gay. and he isn't just any pastor. he leads one of the largest african-american congregations in the world. this bishop drives a bentley, and has his own private jet. these young men say that many people in the church who were close to bishop long knew what was going on, but covered for him, and kept quiet for years. in a statement, long's attorney says the bishop denies the accusations. his accusers say there were hundreds of young men in his youth ministry and they believe more of them will come forward. steve osunsami, abc news, atlanta. and, medical news tonight. an about face and a warning about a highly popular surgery. lasik eye surgery. and it comes from a former official who once led the drive to approve the procedure. so, what is the danger he sees? elisabeth leamy brings us the interview and the story. >> reporter: lasik surgery promises a chance at 20/20
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vision. but a former fda official says hindsight is what's really 20/20. knowing what you know now, would you ever recommend lasik to somebody you care about? >> no, absolutely not. >> reporter: dr. morris waxler was part of the fda team that green-lighted lasik surgery in 1995. but then, he says, he started hearing about devastating side effects. so, today, he asked his former employer to issue strong warnings about lasik. >> i think people don't understand, this is not like getting your nails done. this is not like getting a curl in your hair. >> reporter: in lasik, a thin flap of the outer cornea is lifted out of the way. then, a laser flattens the inner cornea. critics say that compromised core knee ka cornea can develop microscopic scar tissue that can cause vision problems. >> here's what i look like to somebody with normal vision. now here's the halo effect that many lasik patients see. star bursts, like this, are
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another common side effect. worst of all, some lasik patients actually experience blurred vision. according to waxler's analysis of fda data, half of lasik patients experience side effects, and more than a third continue to need glasses or contacts. >> my vision fluctuates very frequently. and i have to have new glasses constantly. >> reporter: the industry counters that most lasik side effects are minor or temporary, and that complications are much lower with today's modern lasik. nevertheless, the fda points out is now reviewing the procedure. elisabeth leamy, abc news, washington. and still ahead on "world news," teenage girls from good homes, lured into the sex trade at the mall? a "world news" investigation. and, holy moses. a scientist says he can now show how moses parted the red sea. how smart is the new ford edge? well, it can show you the most fuel-efficient route to
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with tips on training your bladder. if you have certain stomach problems or glaucoma or cannot empty your bladder, you should not take toviaz. toviaz can cause blurred vision and drowsiness, so use caution when driving or doing unsafe tasks. the most common side effects are dry mouth and constipation. [ susan ] today, i'm visiting my son without visiting every single bathroom. [ female announcer ] why wait? ask about toviaz today. and now, a "world news" investigation. very young girls, from good families, lured into the sex trade. and if we ask you to name a city that's become the hot bed of sex trafficking, chances are you would never have guessed portland, oregon. but sharyn alfonsi traveled there, and she's here tonight. >> reporter: well, it is places you don't expect, and girls you don't expect. we found girls as young as 12 years old, not runaways, but girls from the suburbs being targeted by pimps and forced to work as prostitutes. we are on portland's 82nd avenue.
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they call it the track. police believe there are as many as 100 underage girls here, working the streets, the strip clubs, deployed to hotel rooms, rented and traded by pimps. how old are these girls and what do they look like? >> i have seen them as young as 12. >> reporter: police say young girls are being carefully targeted. >> they look for them in malls, they look for them on myspace and facebook. they look for them in the schools. they strike up a friendship with them and the tactic they use is they work to identify kind of what their needs are. >> reporter: acting less like brutish pimps and more like psychological surgeons. >> you know, i can get you nice clothes and take care of you and then suddenly, they're sort of lavished, all these goods and affection and everything and they think, wow, this person really cares about me. >> reporter: that is what happened to katie. we agreed to disguise her appearance. she's been forced to prostitute since the seventh grade. had you even walked in heels before even all this?
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>> you know, like, little heels to go to church. >> reporter: katie was at this mall when she met two boys who introduced her to an older guy. he started taking her out, buying her things. what was he buying you? >> like, purses and shoes and, like, outfits, and, like, just weird stuff like that. >> reporter: was he like a boyfriend at that point? >> yeah, i guess you could say, like, yeah. >> reporter: but soon, he told her he spent too much money and needed her to help. >> i went to a strip club and danced and whatever. >> reporter: wait. you danced at a strip club? >> yeah. >> reporter: and you were how old? >> 13. >> reporter: when you go on stage, you're 13 years old, you're looking around at these guys, how old are the guys? >> probably old enough to be my dad or my grandpa. it was kind of disgusting. but you know, i, like, told him, on my first night i wanted to go home, but he's like, you know, you can't go home until your shift's over and stuff like that, and i was like, i don't work here, and he was like, you do now. like, so i pretty much just walked right into a trap. >> reporter: and getting out is
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nearly impossible. >> people have been tied up with saran wrap and gang raped. we're talking about 13-year-old girls. and then left in hotel rooms without food and water for days. >> reporter: one pimp tattooed his girls with a bar code. the girls, a product, that is in high demand. portland has more than 100 strip clubs and massage parlors, the largest legal commercial sex industry, per capita, in the country. bigger than even vegas. >> and where you find legitimate sex trade, you find the exploitation of children. >> reporter: an underage girl, working the track, can make upwards of $1,000 a night for a pimp. but she won't see a penny. >> that's her when she's 9. >> reporter: ruth roberts says her daughter had a nearly picture perfect life. >> i was making a six-figure salary, and, i mean, my daughter was getting as and bs and playing basketball and she didn't need anything. >> reporter: but there was one thing she did want. >> she was 15, starting high school. her dad and i were divorced, and
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her dad got a girlfriend a couple of years older than my daughter, so -- my daughter became really jealous and wanted to be with him all the time. >> reporter: you told him, what -- you said, if you're not around -- >> she's going to go find a father figure. >> reporter: she did. that man turned out to be a pimp. >> shoes that were too small. she had blisters this thick when i saw her a month later. he would leave her out freezing in the cold. >> reporter: how old was she? >> 16. >> reporter: 16 years old. and ruth spent her life savings getting her daughter out of prostitution and out of portland. but she still worries a about her safety. there are very few shelters that can keep the girls safe, and they are expensive. upwards of $500 a night. katie, the young girl in our story, she's now in one of those safe houses and we're told her church held a bake sale to help pay for it. >> well, thanks so much. what a story. and i know you'll have a lot more of it tonight on "nightline." and, still ahead, the bible says moses parted the red sea.
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a scientist says he can explain how it happened. desperate for nighttime heartburn relief? for many, nexium helps relieve heartburn symptoms caused by acid reflux disease. and for the majority of patients with prescription coverage for nexium, it can cost $30 or less per month. headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are possible side effects of nexium. other serious stomach conditions may still exist. ask your doctor if nexium can help relieve your heartburn symptoms. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. you know what, tell me, what makes peter, peter ? well, i'm an avid catamaran sailor. i can my own homemade jam, apricot. and i really love my bank's raise your rate cd. i'm sorry, did you say you'd love a pay raise asap ? uh, actually, i said i love my bank's raise your rate cd. you spent 8 days lost at sea ? no, uh... you love watching your neighbors watch tv ? at ally, you'll love our raise your rate cd that offers
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in what's been called "the greatest story ever told." as portrayed in the movie, "the ten commandments," the bible says the israelites, when fleeing egypt, got stuck between the pharaoh's army and the red sea. on moses' command, the waters parted, allowing the israelites to escape. enter carl drews, a software engineer for the national center for atmospheric research. he says, at long last, he's discovered an explanation. >> the exciting thing is that there is a scientific basis for this 3,000-year-old story. >> reporter: he used old maps and satellite data to build this computer model, which shows that when a strong wind blows out of the east, all night long, just like it says in the bible, the water is pushed back, leaving a muddy patch that somebody could walk across. and when the wind dies down, the water rushes back in. >> it shows the body of water lowering in level and splitting around the point of this peninsula, and then dividing on
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both sides. the crossing is open for four hours. the crossing is three kilometers long and four kilometers wide. so, there's plenty of room to get across and i'm kind of imagining ankle-deep mud in that spot. >> reporter: we could point out that drews is a devout christian and some of his peers have asked whether his beliefs may be coloring his science. >> i have to put on my scientist hat when i'm looking at this. so i've got my scientist hat on and i'm trying to analyze this objectively. >> reporter: one leading scientist we reached tonight said it is possible that drews was swayed by his faith. but he also said that when you look at the work, it's also possible that drews has found a reasonable case for a miracle. dan harris, abc news. and when we come back, a reason to look out your window tonight. completely on my own -- i like to discuss my ideas with someone. that's what i like about fidelity. they talked with me one on one, so we could come up with a plan that's right for me,
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it's a true harvest moon. and, by the way, near the moon, a shining jupiter. the planet is making its closest approach to earth since 1963. as one nasa official put it, rarely does autumn again with such celestial fanfare. we wish you a gentle easing into a new season, and we'll see you tomorrow night. the family that owns this butcher shop keeps it spotless. how did they become the first victims of the national salmonela scare? >> battle over cost and care.
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in sacramento, some of the pro visions in the health care reform plan, some companies are saying they'll no longer take kids with preexisting conditions. arraignment of eight city officials on corruption charges. tonight the audit outlines how they misspent millions of tax dollars. >> open world of larry ellison. thoughts of the bay area's wealthyest man. we are live in santa cruz now. two people fell down a 25 foot cliff at panther beach that. is just south of the town of davenport. you can see rescuers carrying one victim. they're on a stretcher. >> back up, rugged terrain, live pictures thchl started ban hour ago. victims were climbing in this area. a life flight helicopter rescued one person taking that individual to the hospital. >> we saw


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